What Are Sustainable Building Materials?

cork-flooringResearch suggests that one of the biggest causes of carbon emissions into the environment is the home. Through the use of non-environmentally friendly building materials in the construction of central heating and electrical systems, most homes contribute to the problem of carbon emissions, which, with the total number of homes across the world, equates to one big problem. This is why the “go green” movement is catching on with regard to our homes. Sustainable building materials are becoming an increasingly popular choice, and “green” energy such as solar or wind power is being used with greater frequency.

Using locally sourced materials is an excellent start, as there are far less fuel and transportation costs involved. Recycled materials are much kinder to the environment. Scrap yards and salvage yards are great places to seek out second-hand or recycled items and building materials.

A large amount of wood gets used in house construction. Instead of using hard wood produced from trees such as oak, which take a long time to grow and do not grow again once cut, bamboo is a great alternative. It re-grows quickly and takes only a year to produce a harvestable amount. Bamboo is a very dense and durable material that, if maintained well, will stay strong and looking good for many years.

Cork is another eco-friendly and sustainable material. It is stripped away from the tree trunks of cork oak trees without having to fell the tree. Like bamboo, it grows back year after year. Cork flooring is a great alternative to hard wood floors and looks attractive, besides. Cork is also fire-resistant by nature.

When it comes to insulation, ask your local home improvement store for choices that are made of recycled or recyclable material.

Finally, when investigating water heating methods, consider a tankless water heater that switches on only when a hot tap is turned. By not keeping a tank of water heated all day and night, you will save on fuel bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels are another good way of creating heat in the home. Although the initial outlay is large, there will be considerable energy savings over time.

By using appropriate, recycled or locally sourced materials, you can go a long way towards lowering emissions and keeping your energy costs down.